In a perfect demonstration that a broken clock gets to be right, by accident, ever so often, Time magazine yesterday named Elon Musk its 2021 “Person of the Year.”
Time’s choices for the past several decades have been consistently cringeworthy, most often because its choices have either repeatedly hawked politicians and activists who deserve no credit at all because they had not actually done anything, such as Greta Thunberg and just-elected George Bush Jr (2000), Barack Obama (2008), Joe Biden/Kamala Harris (2020), or because the picks have been meaningless, such as the choice of “You” in 2006 and “The Protester” in 2011.
Not surprisingly, Time picked Musk apparently for all the wrong reasons, focusing on the modern leftist and Marxist agenda that despises success and now dominates the culture of most mainstream media outlets :
“In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society,” [Time’s chief executive Edward] Felsenthal wrote in the announcement. “From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Facebook turned Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, the year brought home the extent to which, at a time of rising protest over ever deepening inequality, our lives and many of the basic structures around them are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people.” [emphasis mine]
Thus, Felsenthal reveals that Time picked Musk not because he has achieved magnificent things that are fundamentally changing the world, but because he represents “the world’s wealthiest people” who illustrate society’s “deepening inequality.” Nor am I exaggerating. Read Felsenthal’s entire statement, which reeks with leftist and Marxist envy of the wealthy.
Musk deserves this kind of recognition, but not because he is wealthy, but because of how he became so, by actually creating businesses that fulfill needs and thus have customers pounding at the door to buy the product (Paypal, SpaceX, Starlink, Tesla). And along the way his creations have brought jobs and wealth to tens of thousands of people, and acted to rejuvenate whole industries.
We need more people like Musk. The more the merrier. Only by eagerly embracing their original and creative ideas can we hope to recover the civilization we once had.